The Plusses And Minuses Of Bitcoin And Blockchain

In October 2015 we held our Irrational Economic Summit in Vancouver. The weather was awesome, and the conference went well. Part of the final session was a Q&A with Harry Dent, myself, and Dr. Lacy Hunt.

At one point, an attendee asked about bitcoin.

I told the audience in no uncertain terms that bitcoin was effectively dead. Whether it died a quick death or lingered for years, the cryptocurrency could not survive because governments would not allow it.

As I spoke then, one bitcoin cost $250. As I write now, bitcoin trades for $2,601.

If bitcoin is dying as I suggested, it’s making one heck of a final stand!

It reminds me of the actor Paul Reubens’ death scene in the campy classic, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (He’s…still… dying…)

But I stand by my premise.

The exact things that make bitcoin attractive – anonymity, ease of transfer from one party to another, lack of government oversight, accessible in any country without capital controls, not subject to banking regulations – are denounced by national governments.

Think of everything governments stand to lose.

They’d no longer be able to expand or contract credit through money supply and interest rates, effectively losing their ability to steer their economies.

They couldn’t track, control, or tax currency moved out of the country.

They couldn’t snoop into our bank accounts when they suspected wrongdoing.

And there would be almost no way to enforce tax laws regarding payments among private parties. (Think of paying your plumber in bitcoin.)

The world of financial enforcement would turn on self-reporting, leaving cheaters free to cheat.

I can’t see government officials giving up any, much less all, of these tools. The legal and economic costs are too high.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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